Some people feel like retail marketing in 2019 faces an uphill battle, and there is some evidence which lends credence to that way of thinking. With each passing year, more people order from online marketplaces like Amazon, while local mom-and-pop operations find it harder to survive. However, the complete extinction of local commerce seems unlikely. There are some things that people are reluctant to order online, particularly if they need it urgently and they don’t feel like waiting for it to arrive. Let’s look at some retail marketing ideas that should allow your local business to compete with the juggernaut that is online sales.
Emphasize Your Local Connection
You should first create a website for your business that takes full advantage of local SEO and excellent graphic design to make it as inviting to your customers as possible. That’s going to be true whatever it is that you’re selling, and no matter how small your retail space is.
Once that’s taken care of, you can move on to other aspects of local retail marketing. As a small business, there is one thing that you have which the most massive and successful online retailers do not, and that’s your connection to the community.
Amazon doesn’t know very much about your small town; they see it as just another stop on their global postal route. You can compete with them by promoting and selling products that are made exclusively with local materials.
Consumers love to support the little guy. If you make handmade jewelry, be sure to mention on your website that you use only locally-sourced materials. If you make candles, stress that your workshop is right in town, and pepper your site content with keywords that highlight your connection to your city and the people who live there.
Loyalty programs are another way for you to encourage repeat business. Hand out cards that you stamp whenever someone visits your store and spends the requisite amount of money. Once they have enough stamps on the card, they get a prize or a discount.
Spread word of your loyalty program through as many different platforms as possible, including email, social media, text messaging, or even an old-fashioned sign in your storefront window.
Hold Events at Your Store
Large online conglomerates aren’t going to have local events in your area. It’s not a part of their business model, but it should be a part of yours. Mention through all of your available channels that you’re doing something like a workshop or a wine tasting. This lets people who where you are located, and it’s a great way to boost awareness of your latest merchandise that you’re trying to move.
You should also try to master the art of the creative window display, use markdowns on items that aren’t top sellers, and rent booths at fairs if such an event happens in your city or town during the warmer months.
Try to think of your retail marketing efforts as a full-court press. The major online marketplaces don’t need to try as hard as you do because they are already established. You must do all you can to poach as many of their customers as possible.